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game preview

Lightning at Canucks preview

Tampa Bay goes for fifth victory in six games; Vancouver seeks third straight home win

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

LIGHTNING (35-13-3) at CANUCKS (21-24-6)

10 p.m. ET; CBC, SUN, NHL.TV


The Game

The Vancouver Canucks will try to win three games in a row at Rogers Arena for the first time this season against the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Canucks center Sam Gagner won't play after sustaining an upper-body injury during a 4-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. That was Vancouver's fifth win in eight games after going 2-11-2 in the previous 15 games.

Defenseman Dan Girardi will miss his second straight game with a lower-body injury for Tampa Bay, which has won four of its past five games after going 2-4-1 in their previous seven. The Lightning are coming off a 7-4 win against the Calgary Flames on Thursday, the fifth time in the past nine games they have allowed four goals or more.

Players to watch

Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy is 3-0-0 with a 1.67 goals-against average and one shutout in his past three starts after going 0-3-0 with a 4.36 GAA in the previous three.

Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom is 5-2-0 with a 2.56 GAA in his past seven games.


They said it

"That trend is something we've been aware of the last 2-3 weeks. We've given up too many scoring chances and too many shots." -- Lightning center Steven Stamkos on allowing an average of 38 shots against in the past six games

"It's a big number, for sure, so whenever we reach these even numbers it's something we need to talk about. But it's not something I put a lot of thought into." -- Canucks center Henrik Sedin on playing his 1,300th NHL game Saturday, joining Mats Sundin (1,346) and Nicklas Lidstrom (1,564) as the only Swedish players to reach the milestone


Lightning projected lineup

Vladislav Namestnikov -- Steven Stamkos -- Nikita Kucherov

Yanni Gourde -- Brayden Point -- Tyler Johnson

Chris Kunitz -- Cory Conacher -- Ryan Callahan

Alex Killorn -- Matthew Peca

Victor Hedman -- Jake Dotchin

Mikhail Sergachev -- Anton Stralman

Braydon Coburn -- Andrej Sustr

Slater Koekkoek

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Louis Domingue

Scratched : Cedric Paquette, Michael Bournival

Injured: Ondrej Palat (lower body), Peter Budaj (lower body), Dan Girardi (lower body)


Canucks projected lineup

Thomas Vanek -- Bo Horvat -- Brock Boeser

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Jake Virtanen

Brendan Gaunce -- Brandon Sutter -- Loui Eriksson

Sven Baertschi -- Nic Dowd -- Markus Granlund

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Michael Del Zotto -- Christopher Tanev

Derrick Pouliot -- Erik Gudbranson

Jacob Markstrom

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Ben Hutton, Alex Biega

Injured: Sam Gagner (upper body)


Status report

The Lightning will dress seven defensemen and 11 forwards for the second straight game. Girardi is not expected to play the final game of Tampa Bay's eight-game road trip against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday. … Dowd replaces Gagner, who is day-to-day, after being a healthy scratch for the past two games.


Stat pack

Kucherov, the NHL scoring leader with 64 points, has four assists in his past eight games after getting 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in his previous 15. … Boeser has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past nine games after getting 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in the previous 14.

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